March 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Anti-LGBT violence to be discussed at hate crimes forum

Members of the D.C. Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Speakers from the local group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence and the D.C. Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit will be addressing the issue of hate crimes at a community forum on March 15 organized by the Northwest Columbia Heights Community Association.

Among those scheduled to speak at the event are former GLLU head Sgt. Brett Parson and the GLLU’s current head, Sgt. Carlos Mejia, who also heads the department’s Latino Liaison Unit. Others scheduled to speak are GLOV’s current director, A.J. Singletary; the group’s former co-chair Chris Farris; and the director of the Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, Roxana Olivas.

“Gays and Latinos are similarly ‘profiled’ and targeted for violent robberies,” said a statement released by the Columbia Heights group sponsoring the event. “Let’s come together and raise our collective awareness. This trend may affect someone you know, whether you realize it or not.”

The forum will be held 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1525 Newton St., N.W.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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